How to Make Perfect Chicken Cutlets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written by: Najma A.



Time to read 5 min


How to make Chicken cutlets a versatile, delicious, and easy-to-make dish that can be enjoyed in various cuisines worldwide. Whether looking for a quick weeknight dinner or preparing for a special occasion, chicken cutlets can be your go-to option. This comprehensive guide will walk you through making chicken cutlets from scratch, including tips and tricks to ensure they turn out perfectly every time.

What is a Chicken Cutlet?

Chicken cutlets are thinly sliced or pounded pieces of chicken breast that are breaded and usually fried until golden brown. They can be served plain, with a sauce, or as part of a sandwich or salad. The key to 

making great chicken cutlets lies in achieving the right texture and flavor, which comes from a well-seasoned breading and a perfectly cooked chicken.


Before we dive into the steps, let's gather all the necessary ingredients. For a best chicken cutlet recipe, you will need:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs (preferably panko for extra crunch)
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional for added flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Vegetable oil for frying (canola or sunflower oil works well)


  • To make chicken cutlets, you'll need a few kitchen tools:
  • A sharp knife or poultry shears
  • Plastic wrap or parchment paper
  • Meat mallet or rolling pin
  • Shallow dishes or bowls for breading
  • A large skillet or frying pan
  • Tongs or a spatula
What is Chicken Cutlet?

How to make Chicken Cutlets? Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Trim and Butterfly the Chicken Breasts

Start by trimming any excess fat or tendons from the chicken breasts. Place each breast on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice it horizontally, creating two thinner pieces. This process is known as butterflying the chicken breast. If your chicken breasts are very thick, you can also cut them into three pieces.

Step 2: Pound the Chicken

Place each chicken piece between two sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Using a meat mallet or rolling pin, gently pound the chicken to an even thickness, about 1/4 inch thick. This step ensures that the chicken cooks evenly and remains tender.

Step 3: Season the Chicken

Season both sides of the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. This is the foundation of flavor for your chicken cutlets.

Step 4: Prepare the Breading Stations

Set up a breading station with three shallow dishes or bowls. In the first dish, add the flour. In the second dish, beat the eggs with 2 tablespoons of water to create an egg wash. In the third dish, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese (if using), garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dried oregano, and dried basil.

Step 5: Bread the Chicken

Working with one piece of chicken at a time, dredge it in the flour, shaking off any excess. Next, dip it into the egg wash, allowing any excess to drip off. Finally, coat the chicken in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing gently to ensure the breadcrumbs adhere well.

Step 6: Heat the Oil

In a large skillet or frying pan, pour enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom to a depth of about 1/4 inch. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350°F (175°C). If you don't have a thermometer, you can test the oil by dropping a small piece of bread into it; if it sizzles and turns golden brown in about 1 minute, the oil is ready.

Step 7: Fry the Chicken Cutlets

Carefully place the breaded chicken cutlets into the hot oil, cooking them in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry each cutlet for 2-3 minutes per side or until golden brown is cooked. The chicken's internal temperature should reach 165°F (74°C). Use tongs or a spatula to turn the cutlets, careful not to disturb the breading.

Step 8: Drain the Cutlets

Once cooked, transfer the chicken cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil. If you're cooking multiple batches, keep the finished cutlets warm in a low oven (about 200°F or 93°C) while you finish frying the rest.

Step by Step - How to make Chicken Cutlet?

Serving Suggestions

The chicken cutlet recipe is incredibly versatile and can be served in numerous ways. Here are some serving suggestions to inspire you:

  1. Classic Chicken Cutlet: Serve the cutlets with a wedge of lemon and a simple green salad or steamed vegetables for a light, satisfying meal.
  2. Chicken Parmesan: Top the cutlets with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, then bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve over spaghetti or your favorite pasta.
  3. Chicken Cutlet Sandwich: Place the cutlets on a toasted bun with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise for a delicious sandwich. Add pickles or coleslaw for extra flavor.
  4. Chicken Milanese: Serve the cutlets on a bed of arugula with cherry tomatoes, shaved Parmesan, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for an Italian-inspired dish.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Chicken Cutlets

  1. Use Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs provide a lighter, crunchier texture than regular breadcrumbs. They are perfect for achieving that restaurant-quality crispiness.
  2. Season the Flour and Egg Wash: Adding a bit of salt, pepper, and even a pinch of garlic powder to the flour and egg wash layers enhances the overall flavor of the chicken cutlets.
  3. Don't Overcrowd the Pan: Frying too many cutlets simultaneously lowers the oil temperature, resulting in soggy cutlets. Cook them in batches for the best results.

Keep the Oil at the Right Temperature:

  1. Maintaining an oil temperature of around 350°F (175°C) ensures that the cutlets cook evenly and absorb less Oil, staying crispy rather than greasy.
  2. Let the Cutlets Rest: After frying, let the cutlets rest on a wire rack rather than paper towels. This prevents them from becoming soggy from sitting in excess Oil.

Variations to Try

You can experiment with different flavors and ingredients once you've mastered the basic chicken cutlet recipe. Here are some variations to consider:

  1. Herb-Crusted Cutlets: Add finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, and rosemary to the breadcrumb mixture for a fresh, aromatic twist.
  2. Spicy Chicken Cutlets: Mix some cayenne pepper or chili powder into the flour and breadcrumbs for a spicy kick.
  3. Lemon-Pepper Chicken Cutlets: Add lemon zest and cracked black pepper to the breadcrumbs for a bright, zesty flavor.
  4. Asian-Inspired Cutlets: Use panko breadcrumbs mixed with sesame seeds and season the flour with soy sauce powder and ground ginger.

Storing and Reheating

  1. Chicken cutlets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. To store, place them in an airtight container, separating each cutlet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.
  2. To reheat, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and place the cutlets on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through and crispy. Avoid microwaving, as it can make the cutlets soggy.
Serving Suggestion Chicken Cutlet

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How to Make Chicken Cutlet at Home is straightforward and yields delicious, versatile results. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can create perfectly crispy and flavorful chicken cutlets that impress your family and friends. Whether you serve them plain, as part of a dish, or in a sandwich, chicken cutlets will become a staple in your kitchen repertoire. So roll up your sleeves, get your ingredients ready, and enjoy the satisfying process of making homemade chicken cutlets!

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